3 Dec 2014"Rebecca Clarke and Jay Wallwork do it again at Race #3"

  • Mission Bay
  • |
  • Swim: 1000 METRE
  • |
  • Run: 3 KILOMETRE
swimming conditions were perfect, some of the spectator craft were excessive a day made for going sans wetsuit no one could stay with Rebecca Clarke Ashley Williams ran through the field and Danielle Parkinson podiums again Jay Wallwork leads from start to finish hard running Cooper Rand closes the gap Trent Thorpe enjoys his best ever result


The third event in the Stroke & Stride Series is the last chance for competitors to strut their stuff before the traditional Christmas break.  With a big 1000 metre swim and a wee 3 kilometre run on the menu this event provides an ideal opportunity for the recognised swimmers in the field to shine.  After a hesitant start this year, summer was finally making its presence felt in Auckland laying on idyllic conditions for the evening’s competition.


On the beach awaiting the start, competitors were anxious to get underway, if only to enjoy a refreshing dip in the Waitemata Harbour at its sparkling best.  Going off the front of the women’s field those peerless swimmers: Rebecca Clarke, Jacey Cropp and Hannah Williams were soon doing what they do best, namely swimming away from their competition.  It was Rebecca Clarke who really poured on the pace in the latter stages opening up a 12 second lead on Stacey Cropp and Hannah Williams, hitting the shore in 12 minutes 45 seconds.  Strung out behind this flying trio was a small cluster of contenders including Rebecca Spence and Rebekah Bradley 20 seconds back.  Then it was a full minute until more swimmers reached the beach.


While the women’s field were approaching the end of their swim, the start for the men’s field sounded their action-packed departure with the brief charge down the sand, plunging headfirst into the tide and a myriad of flailing limbs splashing out towards the can in front of Rangitoto Island.  These guys weren’t hanging about either; with the first buoy 450 metres off the beach and the first swimmer rounding it in under 5 minutes.  As the head of the men’s field approached the shore there didn’t appear to be the big gaps we witnessed with the women earlier although by the time Jay Wallwork clocked 11 minutes 34 seconds running up the beach he did have a commanding 10 second lead over Brent Foster and Liam Hayes and a 23 second cushion on Cooper Rand.


The 3 kilometre run is as always, short, fast and furious but would it be long enough to shuffle the top place getters?  Not so for the women’s field when reigning Stroke & Stride Champion Rebecca Clarke clocks an impressive run split which added to her all conquering swim gave her victory on the day.  Also impressive and just a half minute behind at the finish was Ashley Williams who had overtaken all the others who started the run ahead of her.  Danielle Parkinson records another podium finish for the season when she grabbed third place 10 seconds ahead of Rebecca Spence.  Hannah Williams matched  her superb swim with a fleet-footed run and scored her best ever Stroke & Stride result and rounded out the top five.


Back out under the pohutukawa blossoms on the footpath to Kohimarama, the men’s field was still being lead by Jay Wallwork now running towards his 4th Stroke & Stride victory in a row.  His closest challenger was Cooper Rand however he would have needed more than the 3000 metres on offer to catch our flying leader.  So Jay Wallwork strides down the golden sands of Mission Bay beach and takes another win, he has now won the last four Stroke & Stride events.  The record number of wins-in-a-row for a male athlete is five and that record is jointly held by a couple of legends – Brent Foster and Shane Reed.  Cooper Rand improves on last fortnight’s third placing to take second today so will his progression continue in the new year?  Or will it be the fast improving third placed Trent Thorpe scoring his best ever result at the Stroke & Stride and just seconds in front of Mark Bowstead.  Is there an advantage of having a brother to race and train with because next to finish was Quinn Wallwork and James Bowstead?


The next Stroke & Stride is not scheduled until the middle of January so the current Grand Prix standings get to gather some dust as they can’t be disturbed for our long break.  Ashley Williams (1st, 3rd & 2nd) has held the lead in the Grand Prix since the opening round with three terrific races and will be defending her 11 point lead in the New Year.  Also taking a step up this season rewards Danielle Parkinson (7th, 2nd & 3rd) with a solitary point lead over defending champion Rebecca Clarke (1st & 1st) who is another one whole point ahead of Rebecca Spence (3rd, 5th & 4th) who is in turn a single point in front of Katherine Badham (2nd, 4th & 8th).


Can’t get much closer than that however the men are trying their best apart from Jay Wallwork (1st, 1st & 1st) all alone in a class of his own this summer.  Chasing him we have Trent Thorpe (6th,7th & 3rd) just two points in front of Cooper Rand (3rd & 2nd) who is one whole point up on James Bowstead (5th, 6th & 6th).  Then it gets ridiculous with four athletes all tied on 26 points; we look forward to seeing Tom Moyes, Fynn Thompson, Quinn Wallwork and Mark Bowstead sorting out those positions with the resumption of play.




Jay Wallwork

21m    55s


Cooper Rand

22m    15s


Trent Thorpe

22m    35s


Mark Bowstead

22m    40s


Quinn Wallwork

23m    12s


James Bowstead

23m    18s


Tom Moyes

23m    27s


Dylan McCullough

23m    57s


Tom Duncan

24m    10s


Gus Ullrich

24m    14s


Nicolo Oporto

24m    22s


Matthew McQueen

24m    25s


Thomas Trengrove

24m    28s


James Matthews

24m    42s


Jeremy Broutte               NCL

25m    04s



Rebecca Clarke

24m    50s


Ashleigh Williams

25m    22s


Danielle Parkinson

25m    44s


Rebecca Spence

25m    54s


Hannah Williams

25m    58s


Jacey Cropp

26m    10s


Ainsley Thorpe

26m    34s


Katherine Badham

27m    23s


Rebekah Bradley

28m    07s


Carmel Tolhurst

28m    32s


Megan Greensmith

28m    50s


Gayle Clark

29m    24s


Isabella Morton

29m    29s


Julia Cree

29m    30s


Caroline Gray

29m    35s

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